The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Professor A. D. Yusuff, has announced the immediate suspension of Prof. A. K. Salami for alleged unethical conduct.
Prof Salami who was suspected to have facilitated the admission, management and eventual release of a suspected COVID-19 case at the hospital, was alleged to have put the lives and wellbeing of a sizeable number of healthcare workers at risk.
The CMD said at a press briefing on Tuesday that despite all measures put in place by the hospital to forestall, prevent and even manage COVID-19 in compliance with global standards, “we were taken aback to discover how a very Senior Consultant of this hospital had facilitated the admission of a suspected case of COVID-19 at the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital on the night of Wednesday, April 1st 2020.
“We were fed with the information of a suspected Food Poisoning, as the cause of the death of the patient until we got another lead to the likely cause of the death of the said patient. In fact, it was shocking to us that the wife of the deceased patient had tested positive for the deadly virus as announced yesterday by the Kwara State Covid-19 Technical Committee,” he said.
According to him, “Already, all UITH staff with close contact with the deceased patient on the night of his admission, or his corpse have been ordered to proceed on self isolation. Besides, the ‘A and E’ ward and the ambulance used to convey his corpse to Offa had been promptly fumigated.
“Without belabouring the narrative that led to the unfortunate incident, I humbly request you to use channels of your various media to help convey the remote and immediate decisions we had taken on the Professor who facilitated the admission of the patient,” he added.
The CMD said “The Management of the Hospital has placed Prof A. K. Salami on immediate suspension as a Senior Consultant in this hospital bothering on his unethical conduct in the admission, management and eventual release of the corpse of the suspected Covid -19 patient who died in the hospital on the 2nd of April, 2020.”
He said the “UITH management has constituted a Medical Investigation Committee on the COVID-19 Suspected Case. The committee which is headed by Professor E.O. Afolayan has other members as: Professor B.S. Alabi, Professor (Mrs) G.F. Adepoju who is the Chairperson, Ethical Committee of the hospital, Mrs I.A. Akosile, Deputy Director (Legal), Professor G.K. Oshagbemi, Dr L.J. Olosunde, who is the local President of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Mr O.A. Olatunde, Chairman, UITH branch of JOHESU, Mr G.E. Salami, Chairman, NANNM, UITH and Mrs O.O. Olubolaji who will serve as the Secretary of the high powered body.
The committee, he said, has the responsibility to “investigate the allegations of the CONVID-19 Suspected case that died on April 2nd, 2020 that was brought in by a relative who is also a member of staff (Professor A. K. Salami).
In addition, the committee will “investigate the process of admission, management and eventual release of the corpse”, while also investigating the “motives behind the concealment of accurate information provided by the patient’s relative.
Prof Yusuff alsosaid the committee will “determine culpability of the patient’s relative involved”, and “make appropriate recommendations to forestall future recurrence of the act.”
He asked the committee to submit its report within a week from the date of its first sitting.